Tourists Witness The Slaughter Of Two Orcas And Cause Major Changes For This Island

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(Warning: graphic images)

 

On April 5, a tourist ship had left to go whale watching off the coast of St. Vincent island in the Caribbean. However, what started off as an exciting adventure quickly turned to horror.

 

whaling_vincent_tourists_2Source: Paul Nicklen/National Geographic

 

The group was taking a whale watching boat to see a group of orcas nearby. They excitedly spotted the four animals breach the surface not far from them.

 

But it was a crew member, Ken Isaacs, who realized that there was another boat approaching dangerously close to the killer whales: a fishing boat.

 

Despite please and cries to stop, the fisherman didn't hear or didn't listen, and promptly slaughtered two of the four animals in front of the tourists with a harpoon gun.

 

whaling_vincent_tourists_4Source: Adam Gravel

 

Many of the guests started crying and shaking according to a report by Isaacs given to Caribbean 360.

 

The island is allowed to kill up to four whales per year by "indigenous people to satisfy subsistence needs," according to International Whaling Commission (IWC) rules.

 

The horrible publicity this event has brought to the island has caused the government to reconsider allowing whaling at all.

 

whaling_vincent_tourists_3Source: Adam Gravel

 

Proponents of the ban claim that most of the indigenous people have given up whaling as a form of food supply. Only a small few practice it, and it is often for monetary gain.

 

In order to renew their whaling licence, St. Vincent would need to apply to the IWC for a renewal in 2018. Many think that they won't even bother applying as they receive significantly more money from tourism than whaling.

 

whaling_vincent_tourists_1Source: Adam Gravel

 

Many native people have began whale watching business as their way of profiting off the wildlife without killing.

 

Despite the horrifying scene that these tourists must have witnessed, the island of St. Vincent is actually extremely low on the list of whaling nations.

 

Japan and Norway lead the pack in this regard.

 

It is only when commercial whaling is completely abolished that these animals will be truly safe.

 

H/t: National Geographic

 

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